It’s all coming up Virgin today, with the airline scoring a draft approval of its alliance with HNA Aviation, Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued its draft decision to authorise the proposed alliance, following its interim approval back in March 2017.
The alliance will enable Virgin Australia to introduce new direct services between Australia and Hong Kong, as well as Australia and China, while the airlines will also codeshare on each other’s flights between Australia, Hong Kong, and mainland China, as well as each other’s’ domestic networks.
Virgin Australia will introduce flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong from July 5, 2017.
The airlines will also introduce a reciprocal partnership between Velocity Frequent Flyer and Fortune Wings Club to offer guests more opportunities to access airline lounges and earn more points.
Virgin Australia’s CEO John Borghetti said, “This new alliance will provide significantly more competition and choice for travellers.
“When the alliance is in place, guests will enjoy an expanded network of destinations across Australia, mainland China and Hong Kong.
“The alliance will also enable Virgin Australia to accelerate its access to the Chinese travel market and work with HNA in driving inbound visitors to Australia, which will benefit our tourism industry and broader economy.
“We are particularly looking forward to implementing the first phase of the alliance and bringing Virgin Australia’s flights and outstanding customer service to Hong Kong with the launch of our Melbourne – Hong Kong services in July.”
The ACCC is expected to make its final ruling on the proposed alliance by July 2017 following public comments on the proposal.